Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Together We Are Better: Making Improvements

Good Morning,

I am continue to catch up by linking up with Schroeder Shenanigans in Second and Lucky Little Learners for this months Together We Are Better linky.


This month's linky topic goes along perfectly with thoughts that have been swimming in my head all summer. This coming school year I will be doing a teacher split with my  partner teacher. I will be teaching all the little firsties math, science, social studies, and handwriting. She will be teaching the rest of the subjects. This requires some big changes in my room. I no longer need all the reading, writing, and phonics posters in my room. Along with this I have been reading Mindsets in the Classroom, Teaching with Intention, and Learn Like a Pirate. These books have also given me lots of ideas for my classroom.

Unfortunately I don't have any photos at this time. I have only been in my room twice since school let out a month ago so it is still a disaster. It is also slow going since I bring my one year old with me.

All of my bulletin boards/covered wall spaces are receiving face lifts. I have chosen new colors (blue, green, and purple) for my room. One of my boards is becoming an "I Can" wall where I will post the statements for science, math, and social studies. I am adding a space near my classroom library for a bible wall. This will be where I post bible projects and verses throughout the year. Outside my room I am turning one of my walls into a gratitude wall. I will be having my kids write what they are thankful for once a week and then posting their thoughts on that board so that we can be reminded of all the wonderful gifts we have all been blessed with. I have not decided quite yet what the other boards/wall spaces will be yet but pictures will be posted when I finish my room.

I am also excited to have expanded my library/meeting area. It has always been small and in a corner of my room. We have always struggled to fit in that space so this year I have moved furniture around and made it larger so that we can easily fit in for class meetings and they kids have more reading space too.

That's all I have for now but I will be in my classroom all this week so I will try to add a few photos to show a little of what I am talking about above.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Learn Like a Pirate: Chapter 5

Good Morning!

I am continuing to catch up this morning by finally linking up with The Primary Gal for chapter 5 of Learn Like a Pirate.

This chapter was all about the different ways that Solarz gives the responsibility of running the classroom to his students. He has a group of formal jobs that are assigned to students and everything else is considered a collaborative responsibility. I like that he teaches his students all of the things that need to be done to keep the classroom running and then empowers them to jump in to complete these tasks on their own when they see that they need to be completed.

I have thought about how to accomplish this with first graders and I haven't come to a conclusion yet. I have decided to expand the jobs that I assign to students this coming year which will give them more responsibility in their classroom. I will have to think a little longer on how to instill that collaborative responsibility in my little firsties because I love the idea of them being more observant and concerned about how their classroom looks and runs.

Solarz continues on to talk about rituals vs. routine. He states that rituals are activities that follow the same pattern but are motivational for students and make students want to be a part of it. Routines are activities that follow a similar pattern but are not motivational to students. After reading his descriptions I could clearly see the few parts of my day that are ritual and the larger amount that are unfortunately routine. I do like how he pointed out the routine parts of our days can be turned into rituals for our students. My goal will be to turn those routines into rituals for my students. I am hoping that by doing that I can make things easier for subs when they are in my classroom. I try not to be absent but I do end up staying home more with my sweet girl when she is sick and feel that my subs would have an easier time if my students took more control of the routines.

My goal for this coming year will be to expand the classroom jobs and work on making rituals within my classroom versus routines. Solarz is excellent in painting such a wonderful picture of a student led classroom that you can't help but get pumped up and ready to dive in to changing your classroom. I look forward to reading all the other thoughts and ideas over on the Primary Gal's blog.


The inLinkz code is:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Teaching with Intention: Chapter 5

Good Evening!

I took last week off to deep clean my house and then spend time with visiting family so tonight begins catch up. Tonight I am finally linking up with From Kindergarten with Love and The Kindergarten Smorgasboard  for chapter 5 of Teaching with Intention.
What a great chapter! This was a beautifully laid out lesson plan to help students comprehension grow and develop. I love the idea of using a poster board as a folder to post our schema (what we think we know), new learning, and misconceptions. I also love that she uses post it notes (in different colors of course) to post the thoughts of the students throughout lessons and readings. That is a great way to show them an example of moving thoughts around or evening "deleting" a thought if it is not accurate. It is also a great way to teach them to pull thoughts from their reading and write them on post it notes to share with the class. This will help them remember the information from the reading and it will give them the power to teach/share something with their classmates. This will be a great tool to use this year for my science and social studies classes.